Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates April 3rd



New Guidance: Wear Homemade Masks in Public

As of yesterday, the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene is recommending that everyone wear a face covering when outside of their home to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

Wearing a face covering will not make New Yorkers invincible! Health officials are adamant that we still need to stay home as much as possible. It is essential that people continue to practice social distancing and good hand hygiene even when wearing a face-covering — including keeping 6 feet of distance between themselves and others whenever possible. A face covering is one more precaution we can take that may help stop the spread of COVID-19.

Either paper or cloth face coverings are fine, as long as you are covering your nose and mouth. However, please do not hoard paper masks, especially medical-grade masks, such as N95 masks or surgical masks, which are in very short supply and which our health care providers need to stay healthy and to care for the most critically ill. Health care workers cannot keep a distance from others, avoid sick people, or avoid contact with others’ bodily fluids such as saliva, so it is essential that we reserve N95 masks for them.

Read New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene guidance for even more information on their new recommendations. Learn how to make your own facemask.

The Javits Center temporary healthcare facility, originally intended for non-coronavirus patients, is shifting to coronavirus treatment. This adds 2,500 beds to our city's capacity. Non-coronavirus patients currently in the Javits Center will be transported to the USNS Comfort hospital ship, which is still dedicated to non-coronavirus hospital use in order to alleviate the pressure for hospitals for hospitals citywide facing an influx of patients.

The Department of Buildings released on its website a Real-Time Map of Essential & Emergency Construction Projects. A press release announcing the map is pasted below. The map can be found by clicking the link here.

New York Presbyterian has Virtual Urgent Care, allowing you to speak with a physician or physician’s assistant for $49.00. Click for more information. 

The free meal service at public schools have expanded service to adults at the 400+ Meal Hubs across the city, and no one will be turned away. The new pickup times are as follows: 7:30 - 11:30 am for families, and 11:30 am - 1:30 pm for adults. You can find your school by texting "FOOD", or "COMIDA" to 877-877.

Gov. Cuomo has issued several Executive Orders designed to reduce public density and slow the rate of transmission, together known as “New York State on PAUSE." The PAUSE Enforcement Assistance Task Force hotline has been set up, where individuals can file complaints regarding the operation of non-essential businesses or gatherings 24/7 through an online form or by calling 1-833-789-0470. These complaints are reviewed for completeness, accuracy, and applicability under the orders, and then referred to local authorities.

The MTA is suspending Times Square Shuttle subway service; the 7 train provides similar routing, although on a less-frequent schedule.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art has created a social media campaign called #CongressSaveCulture to help all nonprofit cultural institutions get more aid from the federal government. For example, Congress could change the tax code so that whole donations could be tax deductible, which could improve cash flow by billions of dollars for institutions nationwide.

Support for Transgender New Yorkers The following are resources for transgender and non-binary people who live in the New York State: here for Spanish.

If you are a parent of a public school student who needs a WiFi-enabled tablet for remote instruction, visit this DOE website.

Charter/Spectrum cable (which has a large footprint in Manhattan) is expanding the eligibility for its 60-day free offer for internet and wifi to include educators (K-12 teachers and college/university professors) who do not already have a Spectrum account. Contact Spectrum at 1-844-488-8395 to sign up (but prepare for a wait!). A free self-installation kit will be provided to new student and educator households.

Weill Cornell Medicine’s Child Psychology Team has scheduled consecutive evening webinars including a Q&A to discuss practical skills aimed to support parents and help children thrive during this challenging time. These webinars are open to any parent looking to learn more about how to manage and cope with these stressful times. Please feel free to share this information with anyone you think could benefit from attending. Click here.

Keys to Literacy and Learning has a website providing resources to parents. Click here for information.

The Today Show visited Bloom's Tavern, 208 East 58th Street, and spoke to proprietor Noel Donovan about ways the industry was coping with the COVID-19 pandemic. Click here to see the clip.

John Jay Park is open, although the playground is closed.

For those celebrating Passover and looking for a virtual Seder, the following list was compiled by the Borough President’s office.

On the Upper East Side:

Hospital Updates:

NewYork-Presbyterian Community Update Newsletter can be found online by clicking here.

Northwell’s Lenox Hill Hospital Weekly Community Update can be found online by clicking here.


New York City Service is looking for volunteers to help those affected by COVID-19. Click here.

New York State has provided a form for the donation of goods, services, or space. To access the form, click here.

New York State is establishing a volunteer SWAT Team of companies and individuals who will be deployed across high-impact and urgent coronavirus response activities to help develop and build technology solutions that will accelerate and amplify our response to COVID-19. We are looking for impactful solutions and skilled tech employees to help. If you are interested in joining the SWAT Team, click here.

Gift cards are recommended as a way to help small businesses and restaurants.

The Department of Education The Regional Enrichment Centers (RECs) provides childcare for healthcare workers and first responders who are critical to the COVID-19 Response effort.

If your child is an NYC resident and you would like to enroll in one of these centers, please complete the form here.

If you are on the staff at the Department of Education and would like to volunteer, please complete the survey here.

The New York City Nonprofits website has a lot of information to assist nonprofits. Click here for more. 

For information to assist those with disabilities, see the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities by clicking here

Blue Hill at Stone Barns and Blue Hill, NYC, have started a program allowing customers to purchase boxes of food, with proceeds going to employees and independent farms. Meals can be donated to health care workers. Click here for information and to place an order to be picked up or donated.

Famiglia's Pizza (at Madison and 97th street) is doing a pizza matching program: if you pay for a pizza for the hospital workers at Mt. Sinai, they will match your number of donated pizzas. (Order one pizza to donate to the hospital and they will deliver 2.)  Give them a call at 212-996-9797.


As part of the Federal CARES Act, Paycheck Protection Program loan applications open today (4/3) for small businesses who apply. There is $350 billion available to companies and non-profit organizations with fewer than 500 employees. NOTE: the Mayor describes this funding as first-come, first-serve!

The loans become grants if the funds are used for payroll. Effectively, this is a stimulus plan-- but banks are administering it, and so naturally there is an application process. Here's a sample Paycheck Protection Program application form that may be helpful in getting you started (PDF). And my staff has taken the flow chart created by the U.S. House Small Business Committee (Chaired by New York’s own Nydia Velázquez) and created this web page for clarity on how under-500 organizations can apply.

The U.S. Small Business Administration confirmed yesterday that business owners who have already applied for its Economic Injury Disaster Loans MUST REAPPLY using a revamped website:

The Carnegie Corporation and Bloomberg Philanthropies have created the NYC COVID-19 Response and Impact Fund which provides a pool of $75 million to help small and mid-size arts organizations with interest-free loans. Organizations must be NYC-based, have an annual operating budget of under $20 million, be a 501C3 in good legal standing, and have a track record for robust service to the people of New York. For more on donating to, or receiving help from, the consortium fund go to NYCommunityTrust.Org. 

The New York State Legislature has introduced legislation to require insurers to pay COVID-19 business interruption claims even if the policy contains a virus exclusion. For more information, click here.

Guidance for Human Services Nonprofit Organizations: Human services nonprofit organizations deliver vital services to our City's communities, including our most vulnerable populations during this COVID-19 crisis. Click here for guidance and answers to question about nonprofit operations, business continuity and programming during these critical days.

Tomorrow, April 4, is the deadline to apply for $10,000 grants to help small businesses fill urgent financial gaps, administered by the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) and funded by Verizon. (LISC is a non profit organization that's provided financing for thousands of affordable housing units and runs economic development programs in low and moderate income neighborhoods.) Applications must be submitted by Saturday, April 4, 2020, at midnight. Here's the link to the application: You'll need your organization's tax ID to begin the application, and eligibility is based on accurate and complete submission (including uploading required documents).  Email [email protected] for questions or information.

Thryv’s Foundation Small Business COVID-19 Grant Program is offering grants to small businesses. Click here for more information. Grants are first-come, first served. Applications are due April 30.

The IRS will start sending the rebate checks included in the CARES Act on April 9.


You are invited to have your questions answered at our Tele-Town Hall on Tuesday, April 7th at 6pm. We will be joined by Dr. Jennifer Rosen, Director of Epidemiology and Surveillance at the Department of Health, who will answer questions about how to stay safe and healthy. Please RSVP and submit your question ahead of time. This event is co-sponsored by Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, Senator Liz Krueger, Assembly Members Rebecca Seawright and Dan Quart, and City Council Member Keith Powers. RSVP and submit your question.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) FAQs & Resources

To get regular updates on the latest developments with coronavirus in New York City text COVID to 692-692. You will receive regular SMS texts with the latest news and developments. Please check for the latest updates

If you are experiencing stress or feel anxious, contact NYC Well at 888-NYC-WELL (888-692- 9355) or text WELL to 65173. NYC Well is a confidential help line that is staffed 24/7 by trained counselors who can provide brief supportive therapy, crisis counseling, and connections to behavioral health treatment, in more than 200 languages.

Additional resources:


U.S. Census Bureau has made some necessary changes to help keep residents safe while still working to ensure a complete census count. This includes extending the national deadline for the count from July 31 to August 14 and postponing all door-to-door outreach campaigns until May. With the majority of our businesses and libraries closed across the state, this gives local communities more time to adjust their outreach plans and helps prevent our state from being put at an unfair disadvantage.

Fill out your Census at OR by phone in these languages: